Sunday, 13 March 2011

Japan, I love you

I am devastated for the people of Japan. It's horrible and I can't imagine what they are going through right now. I met a lot of wonderful people from Japan years ago in Paris. Thanks to them I fell in love with their food, kindness,culture, mannerism, politeness, efficiency, creativity and one of my dreams is to visit Japan one day. We had lots of fun together visiting Japanese restaurants, cooking for each other, we laughed, oh, we laughed a lot! They loved my sense of humor and came up with a nickname for me: " la com├ędienne". When I heard the news about the earthquake and that terrible tsunami I wondered whether my friends were safe. Luckily, they are fine. Houses, fabrics and roads can be built, but so many lives are lost forever that it breaks my heart. I believe in goodness and humanity, I believe that positive thoughts and prayers are much more powerful than earthquakes and tsunamis, I believe that we should all cherish every day spent in good health with our loved ones, I believe we are all citizens of the world, brothers and sisters no matter how many oceans, mountains and miles divide us. We are in this together...let us send our thoughts and prayers to all those lost in this tragic event.

Friday, 11 March 2011

I heart kitchens

It's been very cold these days which is quite unusual for this part of Greece. When the weather is chilly I love to potter around the kitchen, cook stews, hearty soups and bake various breads. It warms up my body as well as my soul. I love to cook and anything related to it grabs my attention whether it's cookbooks, cooking shows, cookware, appliances, oh and kitchens! I love them! The heart of a home is the kitchen, you must agree. That's where all the magic happens, really. You see, I have this thing for them, it's quite strange and weird- I like to take a peek into people's kitchens. If everything is too tidy and in order then I assume that not much goes on there. I just gush over hanging pots and skillets, steam coming from a teapot sitting on the stove, colorful spices and herbs, vine bottles waiting on the kitchen counter, mugs stained with coffee or tea, cake leftovers, shabby plate racks over the sink, colorful napkins and aprons.*sigh*
Generic, lifeless and cold kitchens do nothing for me. I love to look at those that are a bit shabby, full of stories, fragrance and history. A kitchen that oozes warmth, friendship, love and coziness- that's what's beautiful to me. Sophie Dahl wrote this delightful book that I keep going back to time and time again. She writes in this wonderfully lyrical, fairytalish kinda way that's absolutely charming. Her recipes are delicious, very easy to pull off, and the way she talks about food is mouthwatering. Here's my favorite excerpt from her book "Miss Dahl's voluptuous delights":
'This kitchen is a gentle relaxed one, where a punishing, guilt-inducing attitude towards food will not be tolerated. In this kitchen we appreciate the restorative powers of chocolate. The kitchen would have a fireplace, and possibly a few dogs from Battersea Dogs' Home curled up next to it. There might be a small upright piano by the window, with an orchid that doesn't wither as soon as I look at it. On long summer days, the doors to this kitchen are thrown open, while a few lazy, non-stinging bees mosey by. Children stir. When it rains, there is room in this kitchen for reading and spoon finding its way into the cake mix. Serious cups of tea are drunk here; idle gossip occurs, balance and humour prevail. It's the kitchen of my grandparents', but with some Bowie thrown in. It is lingering breakfasts, it is friends with babies on their knees, it is goodbye on a Sunday with the promise of more. This kitchen is where life occurs; jumbled, messy and delicious.'
Here are some kitchen photos that I find lovely:

(Amy in her kitchen, Rachel Khoo from The little Paris kitchen)

(I am obviously totally smitten by Rachel)

I love the ambiance in these two.

Gotta go and pop the bread into the oven...ah, life is good. ♥

Friday, 4 March 2011

Morning rituals

I personally find it very interesting to know how people from various parts of the world live; how they start their day, what do they eat, what do they wear, what entertains them...No matter how different we are, we are still all the same. This new Nanako Koyama's project every morning slightly quenches my curiosity. Photographs capture morning rituals of young people from Japan, Portugal, Poland, Germany. I wish she made more pictures, though. Morning is my favorite time of day. I love when everything bathes in its soft, early light. Mornings are a new promise, another chance given to us to love, enjoy, give and create. I start it off with a coffee, my favorite digestive cookies, oatmeal with fruit and nuts or toast and butter. How about you?